Monday Thoughts

[Addendum: OWGR factoids:  DJ moved up to #3, his highest-ever ranking; Woods fell to #205; were the British Open played today, Jordan would be able to catch Rory by winning and Rory finishing well back.  Euro Sevener Branden Grace finished T-4, moved to #27.  Rory got another one of his backdoor top tens to collect a respectable 14 points.  Cameron Smith, 21-year-old Aussie, finished T-4 and moved from #167 to #89.]

New Day in Golf:  This truly is a New Day in golf.  The golf media will no longer be able to play the game of, “Joe Golfer just did an incredible thing, sure, but he’s certainly no Tiger Woods.”  That was their way to make sure the discussion always revolved about Tiger Woods.  But now there’s a guy who is not only far better then Woods in 2015, but he’s better than Woods was in any year.  When Cole Hammer, say, joins the Tour in 2020, the golf media won’t be able to do their standard Woods schtick.  At best it will be, “He’s playing great, but he’s no Jordan Spieth.  He’s not even a Tiger Woods.”  This truly is a game-changer.   “First since” stats going back to Bobby Jones and Tom Morris?  Get out of here!

Fly in the Golf Media Ointment:  There are aspects to Jordan Spieth that inconveniently disrupt certain golf establishment narratives:

  1. He’s not a bomber off the tee.  Think about it: If distance isn’t the be-all-end-all, do I really need to buy gear every time an equipment manufacturer comes out with a new “distance” ball or driver?
  2. He’s polite and respectful of opponents.  He’s polite and respectful of everybody.  Societal trends tend to swing from one extreme to the other.  Is Jordan a sign of a societal behavioral shift away from juvenile in-your-face braggadocio and toward a refined civility?  I think so.  People have had their fill of the loudest and rudest in society being praised and presented as the norm.  They aren’t the norm, and if you want to succeed in any endeavor you undertake, you’ll do better to imitate the Jordan Spieths of the world.
  3. He’s a… sorry to use such a dirty word… role model.  I hope I didn’t offend you.
  4. For some reason, he doesn’t fit the “new athlete” meme.  The golf media never placed him in that category, even though his brother played college basketball, showing he comes from a family of athletes.  Kelly Tilghman not long ago told Jordan he lacked the physical stature of Tiger Woods — even though Spieth appears to be slightly larger!

Spieth on DJ:  I knew Jordan would handle it perfectly, but his press conference comments about DJ were pretty close to perfect.  Which reminds me, did anyone see the video of Hale Irwin after he beat Mike Donald.  Hale, tearing up, felt badly for the man he beat in a 19-hole playoff and said he almost wished Donald had beaten him.

Go to the 21-minute mark of this video:

Chasing Ben:  If Jordan were to win at St. Andrews, he would match Ben Hogan’s feat of winning the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open in 1953.  The British Open is going to be nuts.  The great and knowledgeable British golf fans will welcome Spieth with open arms, even if they hearts lean toward Rory.

Oostie Screwstie:  Tiger Woods does not need to be paired with legitimate contenders at majors.  His traveling freak show is disruptive and unfair to his playing partners.  I would not pair him with anyone inside the top fifty.

Made Me Pay:  With all the excitement, I forgot until now that Lanny H Golf owes another $200 to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital.  Should Jordan or Rory win a third major, add another $300.  Should they win a fourth on top of a third, add another $400.  Jordan and/or Rory… make me pay!!!

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25 Responses to Monday Thoughts

  1. Ken says:

    Every time I think I can’t be more impressed by Jordan, he does it again.

    The way this man handles people is just incredible. Any question, he gives a detailed, well-thought answer. It’s like he has the questions in advance. The question about him being a role model and what advice he would give. I’d have stammered and tossed out some dumb, trite answer. He gave a detailed answer about not confining yourself to just golf, making friends, valuing family. Just so much poise.

    No “wow factor.” Really? Youngest winner of US Open since Bobby Jones. Wow! Youngest two-time major winner since Sarazen. Wow!

  2. Fernando says:

    So lanny, I guess your new golf-crush is on Spieth? You have devoted your website over the last year to All Rory all the time and when that hasn’t quite panned out, today you are “Spieth is not only better than woods 2015 but better than woods ever”? Really, are you that impressionable that the first shiny thing in front of you becomes your favourite new toy? In all of your narratives, there is only one constant – the villain is always TW. But even the film industry knows that the best blockbusters have a constant hero. So pick yours and stick with it. Rory, fowler, Spieth, hammer. I don’t give a damn but anyone can pick the next great thing by reading the sports pages on Monday morning.

    • Sports-realist2 says:

      Well Rory is still #1 in the World, and has already won TWICE this year…..Obviously winning the Majors is the big tournaments, but why does he or anyone have to live with ONE player…This isn’t the golf channel you know…..

    • lannyh says:

      I don’t follow. I’m not writing a movie for Hollywood. I’m discussing golf. Jordan has won two straight majors at age 21; this is Bobby Jones/Tom Morris stuff. I’m not sure how discussing that equates to a “crush.” I wrote about American Pharoah, too. Do I have a crush on a horse now?

      • Anonymous says:

        But it was you Lanny who proclaimed “Rory is the story” to anyone who would listen. YOU made it all about him. That’s the point. And now – not so much..

      • lannyh says:

        I’m lost. Yes, I said that. Yes, he was. What’s your complaint?

    • lannyh says:

      By the way, I still had Rory listed ahead of Jordan on my greatest of all time list.

      • Ken says:

        Must as I respect your opinions, I don’t think that Rory or Jordan have done enough yet to be top-five all time.

        And Norman? Really?

      • lannyh says:

        Norman is a natural. He didn’t even play golf until he was 16 years old.

      • Ken says:

        Norman was a great player. But top five all time? Really? Over Palmer, Player, Snead, Hagen, Nelson, Sarazen, Jones, Vardon, Casper? I think that’s a stretch. Personally, I think Mickelson, Ballesteros, Faldo, and Els rank higher. Maybe Johnny Miller and Trevino too.

        I hate when people call him a choker. He did falter badly at a couple of Masters (to Nicklaus and Faldo), but he did win two British Opens. But two majors don’t seem like top five material to me.

    • lannyh says:

      And yet one more thing: If you think Spieth isn’t a huge story, you don’t want to turn on the general sports media this morning. He’s everywhere! I just flipped to Mike and Mike and they are in the midst of a Spieth discussion! Skip and Stephen A (and everyone else) are going to be all over this story.

  3. Sports-realist2 says:

    Ok, Spieth needs HIS nickname……We all know it’s ALL about the name or ‘nicknames’…..Fans will feel CLOSER to the player, and we know a good nickname can mean MILLIONS of dollars, as well as fans feeling closer, or that added CONENCTION to the player…….
    ‘Hammer’, The King, The Mechanic, The Golden Bear, Tiger, The Walrus, Lefty, The Big Easy, The Shark, Spiderman, The bulldog, and The Hawk….just to name a few…People LOVE to yell KUUCCHH for Kuchar……..Norman probably next to Woods made/makes the most money, prestige, and added reputation SIMPLY because of the nickname……

    • lannyh says:

      Spiderman? I don’t think Corey ever liked “the tenacious little bulldog” tag. I remember him commenting on that one time back in the day. I don’t know why; I thought it was fine; still, he didn’t care for it.

    • Ken says:

      Supposedly on tour they call him “Golden Child.” He hates it, which I can understand.

      • Sports-realist2 says:

        golden child is too close to golden bear, plus as he gets older, it doesn’t make any sense……ofcourse it’s hard to rhyme with Spieth….Jordan from the NBA, which he was named after might have some legs, but ‘baby Jordan’ was already used for another nba player I think……”The Amazing Spieth”? sounds like a magician….I’m sure his sponsors are all sitting around the table for that important ‘nickname’ as we speak…..

      • Ken says:

        There’s also a bit of a negative, jealous aspect to “Golden Child” as well. Though I can’t imagine any not liking the guy.

        Just call him “The Best” to wrankle the Woods worshippers.

  4. Ken says:

    Only two players who made the cut managed to shoot a worse score to par than the +16 Tiger Woods put up in just two rounds.

    But, he’s close.

  5. Sports-realist2 says:

    Rory 4/1 odds to win the British and Spieth next at 6/1……Obviously if either wins, it’s very legitimate in the aspects of ‘major record pace’ and ‘Grand Slam’ implications ect…..At this point, why wouldn’t it be one of those two golfers to win the British? As stated, I think 20 plus under will be required to win, which will break another Major record….
    JUST like the technology, as Lanny has pointed out, greatly helped Eldrick in breaking records in the 90/00’s ect, NOW Jordan and Mcllroy have NEWER technology and will make NEW records…Again not because these golfers are superior to Nicklaus, but because the technology is that much better….

  6. Sports-realist2 says:

    Um is CBS now just seeing how DUMB the Eldrick fan base has become? I didn’t nor will I read the article, but the headline about Eldrick’s dog needing acl surgery, or something…? I mean cmon….Is it really getting this bad to keep Eldrick alive by talking about his dog? I mean this is the day after the US Open, where articles should abound about the event, but instead it’s about a dog?….
    Porter is under orders ofcourse, but he continues to lose all credibility as even a relevent BLOGGER by caring or writing about such nonsense……This reminds me of the movie Spaceballs, where Darkhelmet tells Lonestar he is his fathers, cousins, sons, roomate(or something like that)…..In other words—-it’s absolutely NOTHING of relevence to golf or the golfing world, yet it makes an article?

    • Ken says:

      The CBS headline that I read was “Tiger Woods’ CUTE dog has ACL surgery.”

      Cutest kids, cutest dog. He’s just the best.

    • lannyh says:

      It can’t continue. They’ve been hoist by their own petard. They’ve trained everyone to question every golf accomplishment by, “Yeah, but is it better than Tiger did?” Woods accomplished a lot, so often it wasn’t. Golf viewers/readers learned quickly that everyone sucked except Woods. Only Tiger Mattered.

      Problem is, now, Jordan Spieth has blown Woods’s youthful records all to hell. Won as a teenager. Won the Masters at 21 and tied the tourney record. Then followed it up by winning the US Open far younger then Woods. And winning two majors far younger. I mean, however you measure it, Jordan comes out on top.

      So, now, every golf fan will instinctively think, when they hear Woods did something, “Yeah, but he didn’t do as good as Jordan Spieth!”

      What goes around comes around.

  7. GolfFan says:

    When there are a dozen guys who have won more majors and/or more tournaments in general, you can’t put Rory and Jordan in the top 5 all time. That said, they have every ability to get there. We’ll see where they are in 15 years.

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